1913-07-04 (134lbs) Willie Ritchie w co 11 (20) Mexican Joe Rivers, Eighth Street Arena, San Francisco, California, USA
1913-07-04 (134lbs) Willie Ritchie w co 11 (20) Mexican Joe Rivers, Eighth Street Arena, San Francisco, California, USA. Referee: Ed Graney. Ritchie, who was already struggling to make the recognised American lightweight limit of 133lbs, arbitrarily raised the poundage to 134lbs for this one, with both men inside. Viciously contested, at an early stage it seemed that Rivers might win on pressure alone, but after Ritchie had settled down by the sixth he began to outbox the Mexican. However, with Rivers still dangerous Ritchie was unable to rush things along until the 11th when he finally began to get through with heavy punches. Having scored twice with heavy rights to the jaw Ritchie put Rivers down, and on getting up at ‘nine gasping for breath a left uppercut and right cross to the jaw saw the latter blasted to the canvas where he was counted out.
For his forthcoming fight against Leach Cross, Ritchie, the 133/134lbs champion, raised the American version of the world title up by one further pound to 135lbs, which then fell into line with Britain and the rest of the world where it remains to this day. A day later, the recently formed French-based International Boxing Union stated that it recognised Ritchie as world champion.